Brought to you by Seahorse magazine, Scuttlebutt Europe is a digest of sailing news and opinions, regatta results, new boat and gear information and letters from sailors -- with a European emphasis. Contributions welcome, send to

Doug Baker And Crew On Runaway Win 2017 Nanny Cay Cup
Tortola, British Virgin Islands - A tauntingly light breeze of 5-7 knots out of the south was enough to get 50+ boats starting in the Nanny Cay Cup, the first event of the 2017 BVI Spring Regatta & Sailing Festival. Rather than the usual Round Tortola race, conditions favoured a 16 NM course starting in the channel off Nanny Cay and taking the fleet around Pelican and Flanagan Islands. The breeze built a little around the islands offering up a fairly steady 7-8 knots throughout racing.

Racing in the CSA Racing division, Runaway, the Andrews 70 skippered by Doug Baker (USA) completed the course in the shortest elapsed time of 1:41:43, taking home the 2017 Nanny Cay Cup. Spike, the J 111 helmed by Sam Talbot (BVI) took second in division, while Taz, the RP 37 owned and skippered by Bernie Evan-Wong (ANU) placed third.

The X41 Godspeed helmed by Peter Steinkogler (AUT) took first in the CSA Cruising fleet, ahead of Roosta, the IC 24 skippered by Pat Nolan (BVI). Sam of Hamble, the Sigma 38 skippered by Peter Hopps (GBR), took third.

In the CSA Bareboat fleet, Team Merlin-Sohcahtoa skippered by Charlie Garrard (USA) took first, followed closely by Sail Experts-Dauntless Five skippered by Petr Kochnev (RUS), and in third place was BYRA-La Belle Vita, skippered by John Fourqurean (USA).

In the Multihull Division, first place went to Little Wing, the Antrim/Perry 52 skippered by Ron Boehm (USA), and Wildfire, the Edel Cat 35 skippered by John Hayes (BVI), took second.

In the Offshore Multihull Division, the Gunboat 66 Extreme H20, owned and skippered by Pat Benz (USA) took first, followed by NALA, the HH 66 and skippered by Jim Vos (USA) in second. The Gunboat 60 owned and skippered by Phil Lotz (USA), took third.

On Wednesday, the fleet heads to Scrub Island for the next event in the BVI Sailing Festival extravaganza, the Scrub Island Invitational. Back at Nanny Cay at 7.30pm is the 2nd showing of Vanishing Sail, a historical film about building the Carriacou sloops.

Full results

Tracy Edwards' Iconic Maiden Is Heading Home
Maiden, which carried the first all-female crew to ever sail around the world, across the finish line of the 1989/90 Whitbread Round the World Race, is heading back to the UK on Sunday (26 March).

The 58-foot yacht has been languishing in the Seychelles, where the iconic vessel has been sadly neglected.

Now in a new cradle, Maiden is waiting for the arrival of the ship that will take her home.

Once restored to her former glory, the yacht will be used to inspire women to take up sailing and challenge the perception of what women are capable of.

Maiden will become an "ambassador" for the not-for profit organisation, The Maiden Factor, which will work with charities such as I am Girl, Just a Drop, Girl Up and The Girl's Network.

In 1990, a 27-year-old Edwards made the history books when her 12 crew on board Maiden defied the critics by winning two legs and finishing second in its class in the Whitbread Round the World Race (now Volvo Ocean Race).

Back To Business
From a funky first day of racing when the promising solid morning breeze evaporated to become difficult, shifty and unsettled and then disappeared, it was a return to business as usual for the second day of competition at the 48th edition of the Trofeo Princesa SofĂ­a IBEROSTAR regatta. The Bay of Palma was blessed by the reliable light Embat sea breeze which filled in on cue to keep the 10 classes racing on, or close to schedule.

It is 21 years since Holland's Roy Heiner clinched a bronze medal in the Finn class in Savannah at the 1996 Olympic regatta. Now the Finn fleet on the Bay of Palma sees the Heiner family name back near the front of the fleet, courtesy of son Nicholas.

After more than five years in the Laser class, peaking with a triumphant Laser World title in 2014 in Santander, Nicholas Heiner has beefed up, having already gained more than 10 kilos of muscle, and is making waves near the front of a competitive Finn fleet. Coached by Spain's Olympic silver medallist Rafa Trujillo, Heiner is lying a provisional third place in the 57 boat Finn fleet after four races. It is very, very early days but the young Dutch sailor is enjoying the transition.

The 470 classes stayed on schedule with two races for both groups sailed. The Women, racing first, enjoyed the best of the day's conditions before the breeze started to die during the late afternoon, making it especially challenging during the second race for the Men. Afrodite Zegers and Anneloes Van Veen, the winners in January in Miami and who just missed the Rio podium with fourth place, have retained their consistency - finishing no worse than fourth - to lead by one point.

Spain's 49er duo who finished ninth in Rio 2016, Diego Botin and Iago Lopez Marra continue to lead the Men's Skiff class winning two of their qualifying fleet races, and so lie five points ahead of the GBR duo James Peters and Fynn Sterritt.

The German pair Victoria Jurczok and Anika Lorenz have a ten points cushion at the top of the 49er FX fleet. Fourth on these waters one year ago they move into the Tokyo quadrennial after their ninth in Rio. Norway's Helene Naess and Marie Ronningen are second. They could not quite match the German because they missed the key move in the first race before the breeze built.

Provisional results for all classes:

Sharepoint Developer
RYA Jobs The RYA is primarily a National Governing Body and membership organisation, delivering services to members, clubs, training centres and other associated groups. We are looking for an enthusiastic Developer to assist in the development of RYA websites and business applications.

Working as part of a small friendly team, under the supervision of the Lead Developer, the successful candidate will complete development work to agreed timescales. They will assist in the development and support of a wide range of web based systems.

The ideal candidate will be highly self-motivated with excellent communication skills and have practical skills and experience based around Microsoft technologies specifically; .NET, SharePoint (with C#) and IIS. An understanding and practical experience any of the following would be an advantage, but not essential:

- Microsoft Dynamics NAV
- BizTalk Server
- Agile project management
- Commerce Server
- Team Foundation Server (TFS)

The role offers an excellent opportunity to expand your knowledge and skill set working in a highly experienced and motivated team.

Salary: DOE 35 hours per week.

Range of benefits including free parking, pension scheme, free life insurance, 25 days annual leave plus public holidays.

Closing date for applications: 2 April 2017

To apply please visit to review the job description and complete an application form and equal opportunities monitoring form.

All applicants should hold valid permission to live and work in the UK in accordance with the Asylum and Immigration Act 1996.

The RYA is committed to equality of opportunity

Seattle Is Clipper Host Port And Team Partner
It has been revealed today that the city of Seattle, USA, will once again welcome the biennial Clipper Round the World Yacht Race as a Host Port and Team Partner in the 2017-18 edition.

The announcement that the American city will feature on the global Clipper Race route and enter a team for a second consecutive time, was made by the Official Tourism Board, Visit Seattle, supported by its partners Seattle Sports Commission and the Port of Seattle.

Making its debut in the 2015-16 edition of the race, which saw the city's name and iconic skyline emblazoned on one of the race's twelve 70-foot ocean racing yachts, Visit Seattle promoted the city as a destination for leisure, tourism and business during its eleven month, 40,000 nautical mile journey around the globe.

The twelve Clipper 70s, the world's largest matched yacht race fleet, will berth at the Port of Seattle's Bell Harbor Marina in April 2018 after completing the most gruelling race in the 14 race series, the Mighty Pacific leg.

A month-long race, teams will battle against 5,600 nautical miles of the North Pacific Ocean from Qingdao, China, to Seattle, WA, before setting off on the next stage of the Clipper Race to New York City, via the Panama Canal.

The Clipper 2017-18 Race starts this August and the fleet will arrive in the Port of Seattle's Bell Harbor Marina in April 2018.

Two New GBR IRC Championships Announced
The International Rating Certificate (IRC), sponsored by Spinlock, is a global rating rule used for hundreds of events in 40 countries. In UK waters IRC competition is fierce both for the National Championship, organised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club, and for regional championships which range from Scotland to the Channel Islands.

Two new IRC Championships have been added for 2017: an Inland Championship on Lake Windermere and an Autumn Championship organised by Hamble River SC - both add an extra challenge to an existing winter series. In addition to regional events there are championships for Small Boats and Double Handed crews.

Winners of each Championship will also win a special prize package from IRC sponsors Spinlock.

The 2017 GBR IRC Championships are:
• Solent (May-October)
• Scottish (May)
• Sussex (June)
• Channel Islands (June)
• National (June)
• East Coast (July)
• Welsh National (August)
• South West (August)
• Southern (September)
• Small Boat (September)
• Double Handed (September)
• Autumn (September)
• Inland (November-March)

Sovereign's Cup 2017 Launched By Minister Simon Coveney
Over 100 boats are expected to enjoy four days racing in the open waters of Kinsale Harbour when the Sovereign's Cup 2017 takes place at Kinsale Yacht Club from 21st-24th June, 2017.

The O'Leary Life & Pensions sponsored event was launched at Kinsale Yacht Club today by Simon Coveney TD, Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government.

Minister Coveney praised the co-operation between all the stakeholders and cited Sovereign's Cup as a prime example of what can be achieved to bring benefits to whole communities when clubs and associations work closely with business groups and local authorities to organise world class events.

Nigel Biggs To Campaign Half-Tonner Checkmate Xviii On Irish Regatta Circuit
Half Ton Ireland will be the base for the Nigel Biggs Checkmate XVIII Half Ton campagin this season with a programme that includes the ICRA Nationals, Sovereigns Cup, Dun Laoghaire Regatta and the Half Ton Cup in Kinsale.

In a previous Irish campaign, Biggs was the overall winner of the 2013 'Boat of the Week' at a massive Dun Laoghaire Regatta edition with seven straight wins in class two.

Biggs's 'new' Half-Tonner that is currently very much a work in progress (see photo above) is the old Emiliano Zapata, ex Dick Dastardly, ex French Beret, ex Concorde from 1985. As with his previous two successful half-tonners (Harmony and Checkmate XV) she has been 'breathed on' by Wicklow yacht designer Mark Mills with a revised sailplan and keel. All the work is being undertaken at his team base near Bangor in North Wales and he anticipates launching early May.

IRC Double Handed National Championships
The 4th edition of the IRC Double Handed National Championships will take place in the Solent from Friday 8th to Sunday 10th September 2017.

By popular demand, the event has been expanded to cover three days with five races. With no discards the format will provide Great Britain with all round champions of double handed keelboat racing - champions of a series that includes a laid marks course, round the cans racing and a long passage race, the main elements of double handed keelboat racing.

The organisers will again be the Royal Southampton YC and RORC. Both clubs boast a long history of excellent racemanagement with RORC hosting the fully crewed IRC National Championships for many years; the RSYC managing the UK's premier double handed series for more than 35 years. To compliment the racing, they will host an informal supper on Friday evening, the event dinner on Saturday evening and prize-giving after racing on Sunday. The social events and the prize-giving will be held at the RORC Clubhouse in Cowes.

Unfortunately the availability of the IRC single event rating, introduced by the RORC Rating Office in 2015, has been withdrawn for this event. All entries, therefore, will have to have a full IRC certificate.

Entries open on 1st April 2017. The notice of race can be found at

Letters To The Editor -
Letters are limited to 350 words. No personal attacks are permitted. We do require your name but your email address will not be published without your permission.

Lucky Sperm

* From Andrew Besheer:

... here's a picture of a gin palace in San Fran that made the rounds of the internet a few years ago... possibly even originating with this publication for all that I can recall.

* From David Evans:

Having had boats for over 60 years I have come across many names, I think they need to be in context in respect of the size of boat and the waters sailed.

I remember a few...

A Mirror Dinghy called Scharnhorst, even though done in superb Germanic script, I feel it wasn't entirely appropriate somehow.

A GP 14 called Beatnik, and surprisingly fast and well sailed, even though it looked as if it had been rescued from a skip earlier that day.

A Hornet owned by a rather randy owner ( Mike Flint) that although christened Thunderball had an S added to its name by some of his female competitors.

The best was an OK Dinghy, sailed from London Corinthian on the usually quiet and calm Thames - Slopalong Placidly, which to those of us that were brought up on 50's cowboy films had a certain resonance!

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The Last Word
As you get older, the questions come down to about two or three. How long? And what do I do with the time I've got left? --David Bowie

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